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Our first StartEDIN Lifescience event was a hit!

Last Wednesday evening Kendra Byers from StartEDIN hosted a fantastic event with Manuelle Debunne (Operations Director of MedAnnex and OncoBioPharm) and Elizabeth Fairley (Director of Talking medicines) at the Edinburgh City Chambers bringing together the life science and tech sectors. Over 60 attended which created a great, dynamic atmosphere.

The evening was kicked off by Allan Lloyds from Product Forge who kindly live streamed the evening and talked about their recent Health Hackathon that gathered 18 teams, delivered 16 product briefs over the 3-day hackathon.

Manuelle introduced the speakers, Phill Cowley and Clare Wareing, who spoke opening about their journeys; from founding their companies through to successful exits. They shared their appetite to risk, controlled international growth and the highs and lows they faced.

Phill’s presentation focused on IOMet pharma, from series A funding to their acquirement by Merck MSD. How the company worked virtually to triage several hundreds of small molecules to focus on the 5 most interesting, how the compound went through pre-clinical development and the importance of the data generated for each of the chosen lead compounds. 

Clare painted a picture of the CRO market globally and in Scotland, she highlighted the difference between running a fee for service company compared to a drug development company and how both work closely together. She explained how revenues are potentially generated at the end or during clinical development for pharmaceutical companies compared to service providers, which’s margin and ROI are smaller, but are a steady revenue stream all the way through, therefore facing less risks. She explained the strategy of Ockham when they acquired Nexus and how if benefitted both companies’ revenues and growth. 

Following the two speeches Elizabeth thanked all attendees and the speakers, emphasising the talent in the room and the common ground between both sectors. The aim is to have another life science – tech event in 6 months’ time – a suggestion at the event is to organise an interactive session between all attendees that focuses on the similarities, differences and learnings to continue to bring the two sectors closer.

"I'm delighted with the feedback we have received from our first lifescience event and I look forward to working with Elizabeth and Manuelle in the future to bring more events like this where the members of our tech community across the two sectors can exchange knowledge, build relationships to help is us ensure the Edinburgh region remains the best place for tech" says Kendra Byers, Managing Director at StartEDIN.

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